Former Northwestern pitcher Luke Farrell will make his major league debut for the Kansas City Royals on Saturday. He will toe the rubber in the Royals’ doubleheader against the Twins scheduled for 1:15 p.m. CST.
Farrell’s first stint in the major probably won’t be very long. He will be the Royals’ 26th man and then go back to the minors, as there is no room for him on the roster. However, he has been throwing really well in the minors as of late, giving up just 7 earned runs in his last 38.2 innings and striking out 44 batters in that span.
Farrell has been pitching at the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate in Omaha. Through 82.1 innings in 2017, he’s posted a 3.83 ERA, 4.34 FIP and is striking out 8.42 batters per nine innings. He was promoted to Triple-A in 2016 and has been a mainstay in the Omaha rotation this season after bouncing back from a tough start.
The 26-year-old has had a difficult career in terms of health, dealing with a tumor in his neck during his time at Northwestern that set his career back by a year. Thus, he may be a late bloomer, and it’s certainly exciting to see Farrell get a shot in the big leagues.
Farrell spent his entire collegiate career with the Wildcats under former head coach Paul Stevens. In his senior year, he posted a 2.13 ERA over 84.1 innings, earning him a trip to the majors.
And yes, Luke is the son of current Red Sox manager John Farrell. The Red Sox will be in Toronto during the game, but I’m sure John Farrell will be playing close attention to the score in Kansas City.
The only other ex-Northwestern players in the majors are Bo Schultz and J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays and George Kontos of the San Francisco Giants.